26 Seconds, “Be More”

Every 26 seconds, a student drops out of high school in the U.S. 

Almost a year ago, State Farm along with America’s Promise Alliance and LeBron James introduced the “26 Seconds” campaign. The purpose of this effort is to draw attention to the negative life consequences of dropping out of high school and to help raise graduation rates across the country. 

Unfortunately, a Native American student drops out of school more frequently than every 26 seconds and more frequently than students in many other minority groups. About 25% of all high school students in the U.S. fail to graduate on time. For black and Hispanic students that rate is nearly 40%. In South Dakota where NRC’s Plains program office is located, about 66% of Native American high school students drop out of school – although many return to school when they are older or obtain a GED.

As a part of the 26 Second project, a number of rallies have been held at high schools where musicians, artists, and former high school drop outs encourage students to be more (BMOR) than a statistic and to take a pledge to discover new interests, set goals, and graduate from high school. Students have been encouraged to be a part of the online community related to this campaign and to creatively express themselves on this issue to help other students. You can join them at Facebook/26seconds.

Last week, a BMOR rally was held at Todd County High School (TCHS) on the Rosebud Reservation in SD, where the dropout rate is about 50%. You may remember TCHS.  On Jan 13 Helen blogged about the video “More Than That,” which was produced by TCHS students in response to the “Hidden America” piece aired by 20/20 in October 2011. Recently, TCHS students created the video above to express a point of view on the dropout issue and to support the BMOR/26 Second campaign. 

As with the “More Than That” video, the TCHS students demonstrate their resilience and determination in the face of many challenges in their new “26 Seconds BMORE TCHS” video. TCHS has been a program partner of NRC’s for many years. Several of their graduates have received our scholarship and gone on to finish college. We are so pleased to see these students take a positive, peaceful and creative approach to challenging misperceptions and showing their strength. Great job TCHS!

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